Crowds twice as big as the previous record descended on Buckhurst Hill for the first Menorah lighting of Hanukkah.

More than 300 people turned up to join Rabbi Odom Brandman and his Community of Chabad Buckhurst Hill, to light the first lamp of Chanukah on Queens Road.

This unprecedented number of people caused a few issues as doughnuts and hot chocolate rapidly ran out.

That did not diminish the delight of Rabbi Odom Brandman who was totally unprepared for such a large turn-out.

He said: “When we first moved to Buckhurst Hill, to grow and support the local community, a public Menorah and Chanukah celebration was one of our first projects.

"I’m delighted to announce that this is the 13th Year that a Menorah is standing here at the top of Queens Road, in the centre of Buckhurst Hill, but we never imagined that we’d have so many people turning up for an event like this."

The event was the first of six public Menorah lightings that Chabad is arranging over Chanukah.

Rabbi Brandman delivered a message of Chanukah to the gathering, telling of how each person is a lamplighter, responsible for realising their potential and sharing light and inspiration with others.

Following the public lighting more than 175 people joined the Rabbi and the community for a food party in the Synagogue on Epping New Road, featuring the World’s Largest Cake Menorah, which measured 2.5 meters across and was 1.65 meters high. There was live music, crafts for the children and plenty of food.

Festivities continue throughout the week across Essex.

One delighted participant said: “This is absolutely breath-taking, to see so many people standing proudly and being able to celebrate their Judaism publicly.

"We are a community making a difference to the area with our warm and non-judgemental approach to Judaism”.